Overview

The aptly named Avenue of the Volcanoes is flanked by eight dizzyingly-high snow-mantled mountains striding south of Quito down the Andean spine. It passes through a valley rich with a landscape of dense forest and tiny fields plastering impossibly steep slopes. Dotted around is a mix of deeply traditional indigenous and colonial settlements with horticultural and artisan markets and cottage industries. There’s also a clutch of old estates gifted to conquistadores where the grandiose buildings are now countryside hotels. This is supreme hiking country, with trails leading to craters harbouring turquoise volcanic lakes, usually with views of the biggest peaks, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.

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Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

Self-drive Ecuador: The back roads of the Andes

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Things to do

Discover a range of activities, including visiting Cotopaxi National Park and the Avenue of the Volcanoes in Ecuador. Book now with Journey Latin America.

Where to go when - our guide to Avenue of the Volcanoes

Avenue of the Volcano

The weather in Avenue of the Volcanoes is wide and varied

The Avenue of Volcanoes enjoys a year round spring-like climate with temperatures averaging 21°C. The fertile highland valley cuts through the spine of the Andean mountain range south from Quito for some 200 miles to the exquisite colonial city of Cuenca and is flanked on either side by eight majestic snow-capped volcanoes that soar to between 5000-6300m. This is the heartland of indigenous Ecuador, famed for its artisan villages, colonial towns, colourful weekly markets, picturesque patchwork fields and some of Ecuador’s best hiking. The best time to visit is during the drier months of June-September. During the wetter months there is still plenty of morning sunshine, but overcast days and intense afternoon downpours are frequent (particular March and April), with the volcanic peaks more likely to be shrouded in cloud. Because of the altitude temperatures drop significantly at night, to as low as a few degrees. The bustling indian market in Saquislii is one of the most colourful and traditional in the country and takes place every Thursday.

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  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

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    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

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    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

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